Greek Culture and History: A Comparison of Sparta and Athens

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The age of Greece was a wonderful time for immense accomplishments and discoveries in science, literature, art, language, philosophy, and many other fields of knowledge. Even the alphabet that we use today is derived from the ancient Greek alphabet that was developed from the Phoenicians, who emerged in history around 1150 BC. The Greek culture was developed through periods of time such as Minoan, Mycenaean, Archaic, Hellenic, and Hellenistic ages. "By the beginning of the Archaic Age, the Greeks emerged from their long years of stagnation and moved into an era of political innovation and cultural experimentation."(Matthews and Platt 38) Really, the isolated farming community had developed into the polis, city-state. Of hundreds of polis …show more content…
The ultimate decisions would be left to the two kings and five magistrates for approval. The kings and magistrates were elected by a small group of aristocrats and landowners. Moreover, in Spartan government, the power of the judicial branch belonged to kings who acted as judges. However, the judicial branch of Athenian Government was based on a court that was chosen by lot. Juries were very large, and used secret ballots to reach a verdict. In fact, while the Athenian government was a gallant first effort to try to establish a more humane system of rule, the Spartan government ruled with an iron fist.

Although people in both city-states shared a sense of identity based on their common language, their heroic stories and folk tales, their myths and religious practices, they had very different ways of life style and values. Indeed, because Sparta, the principal symbol of Dorian civilization, chose to guarantee its integrity and future through stringent and uncompromising rules to prevent rebellions and to control the Helots, who outnumbered the Spartans ten to one; the life style of Sparta became militaristic. Also, the Spartans created a rigid hierarchical society of well-trained, tough, and athletic men, women and children. "Spartan mothers would say to their sons, `Either come back with your shield or on it'--meaning return victorious or die in fighting." From Web:

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